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Top Headlines for 31 March, 2022

LayerZero Raises $135M to Develop Omnichain Protocol

LayerZero Labs raised $135 million in Series B funding to work on the omnichain interoperability protocol that integrates decentralized applications from across blockchains.

Andreessen Horowitz, FTX Ventures, and Sequoia Capital led the round with funding from Coinbase Ventures, PayPal Ventures, Tiger Global, and Uniswap Labs. The raise, which sees the company valued at $1 billion, follows a $6 million Series A round in September 2021 and a $2 million seed round in April of last year.

LayerZero believes that the increased activity in play-2-earn games, NFT marketplaces, and decentralized finance applications has spread data and liquidity across multiple chains that don’t yet interact. The project’s omnichain interoperability protocol will allow decentralized applications to be supported by multiple chains.

LayerZero’s protocol will enable a crypto user to buy NFTs in an Ethereum based play-to-earn game, send those tokens to a Solana-based NFT marketplace, and then use the sale proceeds to provide liquidity to an Avalanche based lending protocol.

Dutch Police Seize NFTs

Law enforcement in the Netherlands recently confiscated non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and an undisclosed amount of other cryptocurrency while investigating two people suspected of selling illegally acquired private data. Police raided residential addresses in Weesp and Hilversum to catch two suspects, aged 19 and 23, for alleged theft of digital assets.

The police have not released any details about the NFTs they have seized or the methods they used to do so. However, a tech expert informed local news outlet NOS that the police might have acquired the private keys by court order.

The law enforcement agency appeared unaware of the value of the confiscated NFTs and what they should do with them. They told the NOS, “If the judge decides that we can auction them, then it will become evident what they will yield.”

This incident may be the first reported instance of Dutch police seizing NFTs. However, the department confiscated an impressive $39 million worth of illegal crypto assets in 2021.</p

Blockchain.com Hits $14B Valuation

Investors have valued UK-based crypto exchange Blockchain.com at $14 billion in a Series D funding round led by Lightspeed Ventures with participation from Baillie Gifford.

The firm previously raised $300 million in March 2021 at a valuation of $5.2 billion. VY Capital and Lightspeed participated in that earlier round.

Blockchain.com, founded in 2011, has 37 million verified users. It is estimated that one-third of all Bitcoin network transactions are conducted through it.

Solana Surges Following OpenSea Support

Solana NFT trading volume and token prices experienced a surge following OpenSea’s announcement on 30 March, 2022 that it would be adding support for those assets on its marketplace.

According to CoinMarketCap, SOL rose 12 % on 31 March, 2022, bringing its price to $124, a 36% price increase from the previous week.

CryptoSlam reported that trading volume for Solana NFTs increased by over 80% in one day following the OpenSea news, while Ethereum NFT transactions only saw an increase of 8% in the same period. Nevertheless, Ethereum still dominates the NFT market.